A new nationwide poll has found significant concern about the cost of living and its effect not only on personal budgets but also the effect on other families in the community. More than half of New Zealanders are very concerned about the cost of living on the country as a whole.
In the poll of 1,200 New Zealanders surveyed this month by Curia Market Research, respondents were asked whether they had adjusted or expected to adjust their spending or actions on a number of key activities in response to the increased cost of living – vehicle use, skipping meals, socialising, use of heating, switching to cheaper supermarkets, using price comparison websites, working from home, cancelling tv or streaming services, and having to borrow money.
The proportion of New Zealanders who have done the following activities in response to the increased cost of living is:
- Driven car less 50%
- Gone out socialising less 44%
- Used price comparison websites 40%
- Not turned on heating 38%
- Switched to cheaper supermarket 38%
- Cancelled TV or streaming services 26%
- Worked from home more 25%
- Skipped meals 22%
- Borrowed more money 13%
The proportion who have done or considered doing an activity is:
- Driven car less 63%
- Switched to cheaper supermarket 55%
- Gone out socialising less 53%
- Used price comparison websites 53%
- Not turned on heating 53%
- Cancelled TV or streaming services 39%
- Worked from home more 32%
- Skipped meals 30%
- Borrowed more money 22%
It is notable that both women and those in the 18-39 age group were more likely to have taken specific actions already in response to the cost of living. Women were less likely to have gone out socialising and more likely to be working from home than men. 18-39 year olds were more likely to have skipped meals (34%) and borrowed money (30%) than other age groups.
Respondents were also asked where they were expecting prices to increase.
The areas where New Zealanders say they expect spending to increase a lot are:
- Motoring fuel 48%
- Food shopping 39%
- Utilities 24%
- Mortgage/rent 23%
- Other household shopping 23%
- Going out socializing 14%
- TV/streaming subs 9%
The areas where New Zealanders say they expect spending to generally increase:
- Motoring fuel 73%
- Food shopping 73%
- Utilities 67%
- Mortgage/rent 48%
- Other household shopping 59%
- Going out socializing 35%
- TV/streaming subs 26%
A previous poll in June found significant concern about the cost of living and its effect not only on personal budgets but also the effect on other families in the community. 88% were very or fairly concerned about cost of living impacting the country as a whole, 67% about impacting them personally, and 74% about impacting people in their local communities.
Family First is calling on the introduction of price freezes on fuel and food to help combat the cost of living. Several European countries have capped prices for basic food groups such as sugar, flour, sunflower oil milk and some meats, as well as an interest rate freeze on mortgages and utilities.
The nationwide poll was carried out between July 3 and July 10, and has a margin of error of +/- 2.8%.